With the Direct Booking Summit just around the corner, we caught up with Dan Wacksman, Former SVP Marketing & Distribution at Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and current Principal at Sassato LLC. Dan has shared with us his view on how your Revenue and Digital teams can work better together to increase your direct bookings.
Join us in Miami on October 22-23 for his session Bridge the gap: The challenges between Digital Marketing and Revenue Management and many other insightful talks. Discover the agenda here.
Drawing from your experience in the hotel industry, can you give tips on how to build a collaborative environment between different hotel teams?
Collaboration starts with building trust and respect between the teams. Next, your teams need to learn more about each other’s job functions and areas of expertise. Once they understand exactly what the other team tried to achieve, it becomes easier for them to align their goals.
One way to do this is job shadowing. In my previous role, we had our digital and call (centre) teams sit with the front desk team to learn more about their everyday tasks. The result: newfound mutual respect and a list of ideas to improve the overall customer experience and create a smoother check-in/out process!
What typically prevents Revenue Management and Digital teams from working collaboratively?
Both digital and revenue teams are highly data-driven. However, they often see things from very different angles. The revenue team focuses on revenue per available room (RevPAR), on-books and pace. The digital team looks at click-through rate (CTR), Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS), conversion rates on your hotel website and booking engine. While both are ultimately responsible for driving top-line revenue, their success is measured differently and their individual performance assessments are often based on separate measures.
What are the must-haves for achieving a revenue-driving website?
Getting the traffic to the website is the most important (and often the most challenging and costly) step in today’s digital environment. It is imperative not to waste the effort and dollars that go into bringing the traffic to your website. That's why the priority must be engaging your potential guests and closing the sale.
Many hotels are still looking at low conversion rates. To their digital marketers, I'd suggest keeping the website simple and user-friendly to see the rise in conversions. For example, a revenue-driving hotel website must have good usability and clear navigation. Ask yourself: Is the gallery easy to find? Is your booking engine easily accessible? Is your page crowded with irrelevant content? Are your rates transparent enough? Do you show relevant offers to your website guests?
What can the Summit's attendees expect to learn from you in Miami?
As hoteliers, we often overcomplicate things and miss what is right in front of us. I pride myself on being 'the master of the obvious', therefore I want to give the audience helpful insight into some elements they may be overlooking. I will center my talk on how to work better as a team and how to focus on someone who often gets lost in the shuffle, the guest.
The tickets to the Direct Booking Summit: Miami are currently sold out, but you can add your details to our waitlist.
Find out more about Dan's session and other keynotes and panels in our latest agenda